As 2017 comes to a close, you can re-read my 2017 resolutions and then see how I did. Did you have choral resolutions? How did you do? By clicking any of my resolutions, you will be able to read my detailed goals for each resolution prior to beginning this year. Listed below is the actual result of each resolution.

Here are the 11 New Year’s “Re-directions” that I had intended on initiating in order make me a better choral director for this past year:

1. I will “re-reinforce” the guidelines that I created to start off the school year

I have not been any better with this. Overall, my students are focused.  But I have not enforced the guidelines in a manner that is any more consistent than last year. I’m planning on addressing this directly after the Winter break. Result: FAIL!

2. I will “re-reinforce” all rehearsal routines

I have not been on top of “reinforcing” routines that have become sloppy.  The one thing I have improved upon is asking my officers to be more on top of their routines.  But as a whole, I have not succeeded in this resolution. I’m planning on addressing this directly after the Winter break. Result: Fail!


3. I will create and/or modify any routines that have not been effective

Again, any modifications that began at the start of the year have dissipated into nothingness. How embarrassing. Result: Fail!

4. I will welcome all students with a clean behavioral slate

I feel quite confident that I start students every day with a clean behavioral slate every day. I have truly searched for ways to positively reinforce students when they are doing the right thing in class. Result: Pass!

5. I will not rely solely on the section leaders to produce the sound for their section

I believe that I have succeeded in expecting more singers to step up in every section.  For many years, I have had a soprano 2 section lead by one only singer; this year, there are nearly a half-dozen students who act like section leaders. Result: Pass!

6. I will try to make each rehearsal different and special

While I’ve had some interesting rehearsals this year, I do not think I have broken out of my traditional mold.  I fall back into a regular routine way more than I would like to admit. Result: Fail!

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7. When I exit the piano bench to walk closer to my ensemble, I will exit right

This is perhaps my biggest success. Why does it even matter? Well, it matters because every single time I left the piano bench, I would primarily greet the sopranos and the basses.  How did I fix this issue? I announced this goal to my choirs (which was met with with plenty of laughs). From there,  they simply applauded me every time I left the piano bench and walked to the right. Now, I visit the altos and tenors about 30% of the time. Result: Pass!

8. I will be more positive during rehearsal

Well this one is a major bust. I give lots of compliments to my choir. When they improve or demonstrate any conceptual change, I am quick to recognize what they’ve accomplished. When they sing musically, I always let them know. But when they fail to focus, lost momentum, or disengage, I cannot seem to find a positive way to address these issues. In my heart of hearts, I know it is my weakness, but as of now, I continue to be direct with my words. “Are you happy with what you just did?” or “That was terrible.”  Result: Fail!

9. I will work even harder to bring up the weakest singers in the group

This year has been the most difficult year in terms of handling struggling singers. I have had the most vocally challenging student of my career, which has forced me to meet this goal. I have worked so hard on helping my weakest singers that it sometimes has impacted the overall ensemble. Result: Pass!

10. I will find a way to compliment the choir every day, in different ways

I am genuine when I compliment my ensembles, and I may compliment them every day; if I do, I’m doing it unintentionally. I think I have to do a better job of ensuring that I find more ways to compliment them. Result: Somewhere in between

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11. I will stop complaining

I can’t help myself. It is bad. Somehow I justify my complaining with the multitude of compliments that I give. In the end, I still complain WAY too much.  Result: Fail!

Total Score:

Of my 11 Resolutions, I was only successful on 4 of them. I was mainly unsuccessful on 6, and somewhere in between on 1.


That isn’t great, but what I’ve come to realize is that it was not realistic to have 11 resolutions. This past year has been filled with growth both in my teaching life, my blogging life, and my personal life.

My next blog is going to sum up this growth and help to redirect toward an even more successful 2018!

Happy New Year!